Savings levy of up to 10 per cent imposed in Cyprus

Chancellor says Brits in Cyprus on military or government service will be protected from the levy.

People are rushing to withdraw their savings from the bank in Cyprus after an EU/IMF bailout agreed on Friday imposed levy on bank deposits of up to 10 per cent on bank deposits.

The €10bn bailout will result in people with less than €100,000 in their accounts paying a one-off tax of 6.75 per cent, while those with deposits over that threshold will pay 9.9 per cent. Depositors will be compensated with the equivalent amount in shares in their banks.

The deal requires the approval of the country's parliament. An emergency session and presidential address due to take place today have been postponed until tomorrow, according to the BBC.

The Mail on Sunday reports that up to 60,000 British savers could lose money as a result. However, appearing on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that Brits in Cyprus on military or government service would be protected from the levy.

He also wasted no time in pointing to the crisis in Cyprus as proof that Britain can't "change course" from his economic plan.

People withdraw their money at ATMs in the Cypriot capital Nicosia. Photograph: Getty Images
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What did Jeremy Corbyn really say about Bin Laden?

He's been critiqued for calling Bin Laden's death a "tragedy". But what did Jeremy Corbyn really say?

Jeremy Corbyn is under fire for describing Bin Laden’s death as a “tragedy” in the Sun, but what did the Labour leadership frontrunner really say?

In remarks made to Press TV, the state-backed Iranian broadcaster, the Islington North MP said:

“This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy. The World Trade Center was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died.”

He also added that it was his preference that Osama Bin Laden be put on trial, a view shared by, among other people, Barack Obama and Boris Johnson.

Although Andy Burnham, one of Corbyn’s rivals for the leadership, will later today claim that “there is everything to play for” in the contest, with “tens of thousands still to vote”, the row is unlikely to harm Corbyn’s chances of becoming Labour leader. 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.